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Standing Up To Sedentary Working

The following article was written by Sophie O’Connell and published in Occupational Health and Wellbeing on the 7th June 2019. The modern world and the constant pursuit of technological growth have almost eliminated the need for movement in our daily lives. While commuting we sit in our cars or on the bus; at work we sit at our computers or in meetings; during our leisure time we sit watching TV, playing computer games or socialising with friends. Because of technology advancements we do not even need to leave the comfort of our own homes to socialise, stay in touch with friends and family, to shop, to work or even be entertained on a screen. This means that, on average, Brits spend around 9.5 hours a day spent sitting. Typically, the amount of time spent sedentary each day increases with age. In working-age adults much of this sitting is done at work. Evidence shows that office-based workers spend around 75% of their working day sitting, with a third of sitting time being done for a prolonged period. Many of us are guilty of spending time sitting for extended periods due to work, travel or various social commitments. But with the growing…

Forget Standing Desks: To Stay Healthy, You’ve Got To Move All Day

The following article, written by Christopher Keyes, was published by The Guardian on February 6th, 2019. If you want to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of good habits, don’t start at the gym. Start at the office. A few years ago, James Levine, a doctor of endo­crinology at the Mayo Clinic, sparked a radical change in America’s office furniture. His research had inspired a pile of viral stories cataloging the negative effects of sitting at a desk: leg muscles shut down, blood pressure increases, good cholesterol plummets, your children starve. OK, I made up that last one, but the real takeaway was no less dire. “Excessive sitting is a lethal activity,” Levine, who has studied sedentary behavior for nearly 20 years and is the most widely quoted expert on the topic, told the New York Times in 2011. And the solution – at least the one people heard – was to start standing. Cue the office makeovers. Over the next several years, workers all across America embraced stand-up desks. At Outside’s headquarters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, our building manager furiously reconfigured work spaces. Desks were removed from their shelving brackets, raised a foot and a half, and remounted. Walking the hallways,…

Health Check: do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?

The following article, written by Corneel Vandelanotte, Kerry Mummery, Mitch Duncan, and Wendy Brown, was originally published in The Conversation on February 6th, 2019. You can read the original article here. Regular walking produces many health benefits, including reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. Best of all, it’s free, we can do it anywhere and, for most of us, it’s relatively easy to fit into our daily routines. We often hear 10,000 as the golden number of steps to strive for in a day. But do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day? Not necessarily. This figure was originally popularised as part of a marketing campaign, and has been subject to some criticism. But if it gets you walking more, it might be a good goal to work towards. Where did 10,000 come from? The 10,000 steps concept was initially formulated in Japan in the lead-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. There was no real evidence to support this target. Rather, it was a marketing strategy to sell step counters. There was very little interest in the idea until the turn of the century, when the concept was revisited by Australian health promotion researchers in 2001 to encourage people to be more active. Based on…

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